Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What Is An Author?

First, I would like to say I am thrilled to have heard from all three of the book authors I mentioned in the post on Saturday, January 30th. Thank you John R. Erickson, Robyn Harding and Steve Weber. All three of their books will be reviewed/discussed at some point on this blog in the near future. I did start Robyn's book during my bike riding yesterday and must admit I laughed out loud several times. I felt bad, of course, because the poor MC (main character) is going through a truly trying ordeal. However, Robyn tells it in such a manner that the reader can feel the pain yet laugh at the same time. I'm excited to read more!

Yesterday I posted a comment on my FaceBook page that I needed to "go type on my story or there won't be any reason for me to continue... That sounded a bit dramatic. I meant, I can't be an author without a book!!!" That is the exact comment. My friend, blogger and avid reader, Kristen commented back "hey, just exactly what IS an author? I mean does being published mean you are an author or does it just mean you are writing a book or story or what???" and added "Do you have to actually have completed something written to be an author?" I thought these were valid and thought-provoking questions and wanted to take a bit of time exploring the answer. Well, MY answer anyway :)

The Farlex Free Online Dictionary describes an author as follows:
1. a. The writer of a book, article, or other text.
1. b. One who practices writing as a profession.
2. One who writes or constructs an electronic document or system, such as a website.
3. An originator or creator, as of a theory or plan.

Merriam-Webster says an author is: 1 a : one that originates or creates b: the writer of a literary work (as a book)

So what does that mean? Let's push the other definitions away and concentrate on Book Authors. Do you have to be published to be an author? It doesn't say that. It merely says the writer of a book in both definitions. Does the book have to be completed? Good question. Is this an answerable question? Another good question!

Want to know what I think? Well, it's my blog so you have to listen or hit the X which I hope you will not do. I think an author is anyone who writers, regardless of what they write or whether it is finished. You may spend a lifetime working on a story that never gets finished. Does that make you any less an author? I don't think so. I love this quote by Jules Renard, author of "Diary". It says "The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air. All I must do is find it, and copy it." Everyone has a story, therefore, might we say that everyone is an author? Perhaps in their own way. Perhaps...

Thank you Kristen for the journey of this frame of thought. My conclusion: I believe it is a question one must answer for oneself. Anyone care to give their 2 cents????


  1. I very much like that quote Linda. I find myself writing and re writing and writing again. Even when I am 'done', it is not done. So, how do you finally decide to stop and send the baby out in the world to walk for itself? Or is that another topic?

  2. That is an excellent question. How many times to you edit, re-read, have your friends read, edit, until you know it is all grown up and can "walk for itself." How do you know it even has legs? Yes I would like to hear about that.

    I loved your post today Linda. And you are an author in every form of the word, and were even before you were published. I think you were born an author. You are a natural. Keep up the great blogging!!